We had the time to review some of our older blog posts, many are still valid today so we thought we would share them on this platform!
Last month we had a very nice Lincoln cent collection come in, mostly XF to CH BU. The highlights of the set were 1909-S MS63 RB, 1912-S MS64 BN, 1919-D MS63BN, 1922-D MS64 RB, 1924-S MS64 BN, 1927-D MS64 RB which all graded at PCGS, but the best item was a lovely 1955/1955 Doubled die which came back from PCGS as MS64 BN. The 55 is the classic doubled die error of all time and by far the most famous although far too many people mistakenly refer to it as a double strike. This is also the most popular and sought after American coin error and quite possibly the most sought after coin error in the world.
You may not be aware of this but the majority of the 55 double dies were released right here in New England. Apparently, they were shipped from the mint to Brinks and Wells Fargo branches in western Massachusetts where they were paid out to banks and vending companies for change. A large percentage were used in tobacco vending machines. At the time a package of cigarettes was around 23 cents so the vending companies habitually would insert enough pennies inside the cellophane package of cigarettes so they could be vended at 25 cents. This is also the reason why 55 doubled die coins are usually brown with red coins being very rare as the tobacco helped tone the coins almost immediately often unevenly leaving blotchy brown surfaces with red highlights. In years past we always considered them as Red-Brown coins with any trace of red, however thanks to the grading services, today coins with less than 60% red remaining are now classified as Brown. Anyway, the coin I bought was a lovely evenly colored Brown-Red coin classified as Brown by PCGS and is now in the hands of an appreciative collector.